1. Lead times - Regular Chambers: 2-3 weeks - Desk divorces: currently processing desk divorces submitted about 10 days ago - Special Chambers: 11 days available in next 3 months - Half day Specials: 5 months - Viva Voce EPO Review: less than 2 months - 4.10 Case Conference: 4 months (none in July or August) - Summer JDR dates should be released in April - Pre-trials: 1 week - Trials: October 2020 for 3 days or less, November 2020 or January 2021 for 5 days, Spring/Fall 2021 for longer trials
2. General Feedback from clerks: - Don't have enough staff for lawyer's wicket - Filing desk closes at 4pm - If divorce severed, refer to child support order in preamble and provide child support calculations - If no children, say no children in Affidavit of Applicant instead of deleting the clause - Pick one of the spousal support boxes in Affidavit of Applicant - Do your Matrimonial Property Judgment in a different document than the Divorce Judgment - Peggy only needs applications and cross-applications for SFC, not the concise letters
3. EICCs are going to continue. They are experimenting with EICCs in other judicial centres (Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, etc).
4. Recent Notices to Profession - 2013 ADR suspension lifted, but can apply for ADR exemption - Case Conferences now required prior to Case Management (hence 4 month wait for case conference) - Collaborative law and case management/resolution counsel meetings are considered a type of ADR - You can request expedited dates for family hearings from ACJ if "serious consequences" may arise without expedited hearing
5. Third party affidavits for SFC are only allowed if contemplated under paragraph 28 of PN2 (CFS, MEP, Children's counsel), otherwise you need to get leave to file. See recent decision DAF v SRG, 2020 ABCA 25, re: third party letters.
6. Bring your draft Order to Court if possible (hard copy and electronic). You can go to library and print it off. Reduces chance of SRL contesting the drafting.
8. Discussion on ABCA applications to reconsider a prior precedential decision of the Court.
9. New Divorce Act will expand French language rights in Alberta (e.g. filing in French, making submissions in French). You have an obligation to advise your client of their language rights. New Divorce Act forms should be out before July 1.